Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) Poster


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  • What Holly says in the movie: > Poor slob. Poor slob without a name. The way I look at it, I don't have the right to give him one. We don't belong to each other. We just took up by the river one day.

    What Holly says in the book: > "Poor slob," she said, tickling his head, "poor slob without a name. But I haven't any right to give him one: he'll have to wait until he belongs to somebody. We just sort of took up by the river one day, we don't belong to each other: he's an independent, and so am I. (...)" Edit

  • "Golightly", albeit uncommon, is indeed a real surname and was around long before Truman Capote wrote the book "Breakfast At Tiffany's". The name's origin is Scottish and comes from a person who is a messenger. In the book, the first name "Holly" is said to be a nickname for "Holiday", which is also a real name, but it's very uncommon as a first name. In the film, the character is just called "Holly" and no longer version of the name is ever brought up, nor the origin of where her name came from. Edit

  • While moving into an apartment on Manhattan's East Side, struggling writer Paul Varjak (George Peppard) meets party girl Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), whose aspirations are for glamor and wealth. Since Paul reminds her of her brother Fred, Holly befriends him, and Paul is immediately fascinated by her quirkiness... until he meets Holly's ex-husband Doc Golightly (Buddy Ebsen) and learns the truth about her. Edit

  • Loosely based on a novella by American novelist Truman Capote that first appeared in the November 1958 issue of Esquire Magazine, the screenplay for Breakfast at Tiffany's was written by American screenwriter George Axelrod. Edit

  • Tiffany's (or Tiffany & Company) is a luxury jewelry store in New York City. Holly sees it as the epitome of glamor and wealth, a place where nothing bad ever happens. In the opening scenes, Holly is shown eating her breakfast while standing outside Tiffany's and gazing into its windows. In a later scene, Holly and Paul go shopping at Tiffany's but find that the only thing they can afford is a sterling silver telephone dialer for $6.75, so they settle on engraving a ring from a CrackerJack box. Edit

  • For one thing, Sally Tomato (Alan Reed), incarcerated in Sing Sing, paid Holly $100 every week for her visits. Unknown to Holly, she was Tomato's 'mule', carrying coded information in the weather reports from Tomato to his criminal enterprise. Edit

  • Holly decides to absconce to Brazil and marry José until, while in the taxi cab on her way to hide out at the Clayton Hotel, Paul reads to her the letter from José explaining that he must end their relationship due to her arrest. When Holly maintains her intention to run to Brazil anyway and look for the 50 richest Brazilian men, Paul confesses his love for her. Nonplussed, Holly reminds him that she, like her no-name cat, belong to no one. To prove her words, she orders the driver to stop and pushes Cat out of the cab into the rain. Paul pays off the cabdriver and leaves, but not before confronting Holly and tossing the Cracker Jack ring back at her. Paul goes looking for Cat, and Holly follows. She locates the cat in an alley hiding between two crates and welcomes him back into her life. In the final scene, Holly wordlessly embraces Paul, realizing that she no longer needs to be a 'wild child', facing life alone. Edit



The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • Although the movie is generally a faithful adaptation of the novella, there are some significant differences. mostly in that the novella has no love story. The narrator is an unnamed writer who is only her friend, and may be homosexual. (The Patricia Neal character was invented for the movie.) Another character in the novella, a bartender who truly loves Holly, was dropped for the movie. The novella also ends differently; Holly throws her cat out of the car, but immediately regrets it and goes back to find it, but can't. She tearfully begs the narrator to find Cat and take care of him. Holly then leaves for Brazil. The narrator eventually finds Cat but realizes he's been adopted by a new family and seems happy, so he leaves him alone. The narrator receives a postcard from her, now in Buenos Aires, saying she's in love and she'll write more, but neither he or any of her other New York friends ever hear from her again, aside from rumors of her being seen in various parts of the world. As the story ends, they wonder if she's still alive, or dead, or married and living in New York, or still traveling the world. Edit

  • In the Truman Capote novel, Holly is somewhat more crass, claims to have used drugs including marijuana, and rather than the quirkiness of the film version, the Holly in the book version is portrayed as mentally unstable and even cruel at times. Capote himself, while liking Hepburn as an actress, was angry at the choice to cast her as Holly, and wanted actress Marilyn Monroe to play Holly in the film, instead. The Holly in the novel shares some of the traits and physical characteristics of Monroe. In the novel, Holly and Paul are just friends, whereas in the film, their friendship eventually turns into romance. In the novel, Holly is less childlike and more of a risk-taker, and is even said to have lost an illegitimate pregnancy. In a nutshell, the novel version of Holly is beautiful and eccentric but also rather unpleasant and damaged as a person, whereas in the film, she's naive and quirky and behaves almost like a child. Edit

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